Wednesday, August 25, 2004

"Fagin the Jew" by Will Eisner

Will Eisner is generally considered the first true master of the comics medium. The first guy to really make an art form of the funny book itself. I've read only a handful of things, but definitely see how that comes about historically.

For some reason, Fagin The Jew particularly caught my attention. It's a re-examination of one of the best known characters in literature from his own perspective, in a manner of speaking. I'm not sure why it seemed particularly more compelling than a lot of other things, but it did.

I just got the chance to read it and I'm quite glad I did. It's clearly well-researched in its period detail and quite well-paced and witty, too.


How about, "Will Eisner's examination of the Fagin character from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. Based on his own research into the era and the original editions of Oliver Twist, Eisner tells Fagin's story, and looks at prejudice, poverty and anti-Semitism prevelant in classic literature."

Now, maybe I'm partly a sucker for these kinds of retelling of stories, making me more susceptible then others to the charms of this one, but I really did enjoy it as a yarn. The fact that I may have learned a couple of things just seems like cake.

Mmmm... cake...

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